Mats Hummels admits Bayern Munich have plenty of room for improvement in their quest for Champions League glory after the German giants rode their luck to claim a narrow victory over Sevilla.
Bayern emerged from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan with a 2-1 win from their quarter-final first leg, but it could have been a very different story.
Both of Bayern’s goals came via heavy deflections, while a combination of poor finishing, great defending and fine goalkeeping prevented Sevilla from building on Pablo Sarabia’s first-half strike.
Bayern are now favourites to finish things off during next week’s second leg at the Allianz Arena, where they have won 21 of their last 22 European matches, but Hummels concedes the Bundesliga powerhouses need to do better.
He told BT Sport: ‘I think the result would have gotten our signature if you gave it to us before the game, so we’re very happy about the result and about most parts of the game as well, but it wasn’t 90 minutes of good from us.
‘(There was) at least half-an-hour in the first half when Sevilla were clearly the better team and had good chances to score maybe a second goal, so we know there’s a lot we have to improve in the next game next week, and hopefully in the games coming after that.’
Sarabia wasted a gilt-edged chance to put Sevilla ahead before he made amends by firing the Spanish side in front after 32 minutes.
Bayern were level inside six minutes though, with Franck Ribery’s cross going in off Jesus Navas and then another deflected goal, this time Thiago’s 68th-minute header diverting in off Sergio Escudero, gained them a fortuitous win.
Hummels insisted Sevilla’s performance did not catch them unawares, saying: ‘We always told everyone how good they are because we knew.
‘So it didn’t come as a surprise for us, but of course we didn’t want them to be that dominant for the biggest part of the first half.
‘That’s something we will analyse and talk about and we will try not to let it happen again in next week’s game in Munich.’
Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella, whose side dumped Manchester United out in the previous round following a 2-1 win at Old Trafford, admits the Andalusian outfit have a mountain to climb but is not throwing in the towel yet.
Asked what chance they have in the return leg, Montella said: ‘Few, but we’re going to play with the same amount of pride, or more.
‘Things are made possible if you believe and I continue believing.
‘Our percentage (of going through) is low, but we have to play them.’
He added in his post-match press conference in quotes reported by AS: ‘We haven’t had luck. I’m grateful for the excellent game that my players had against a very high-level opponent.
‘The team deserved more. The first goal we conceded was a shame, it didn’t demoralise us, but we lost momentum.
‘The second half was more even, but we didn’t have the energy to go on the counter-attack.
‘We went for it in the final minutes and I like that a lot, but the two goals (Sevilla conceded) were a shame.’